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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Credit Up in Non-Revolving; Credit Card Debt Falls
by Carol Stone  November 7, 2012

Consumer credit increased $11.4B in September, following a modestly revised $18.3B gain in August, the Federal Reserve reported. The September gain was slightly larger than the $10.3B forecasters expected, according to the Action Economics survey consensus. The year-to-year gain was 5.5%, the same as in August.

Non-revolving credit - car loans, students loans and other specific loan contracts - remained strong, with a $14.3B increase, almost the same as the $14.1B in August. The year-to-year gain was 8.0%, even a bit firmer than August's 7.8%, already the strongest in 10 years. Non-revolving credit accounts for roughly two-thirds of the credit total. In contrast, revolving credit (credit card debt) retreated, falling $2.9B after rising $4.3B in August. With an up-and-down sawtooth pattern repeating every few month, the year-to-year growth rate was just 0.5%.

The figures used in this report are break-adjusted and calculated by Haver Analytics. There is a break in the credit outstanding data from November 2010 to December 2010 due to the Fed's benchmarking process. Benchmark estimates are based on the Census of Finance Companies (CFC) and the Survey of Finance Companies (SFC) conducted in 2010 and 2011, respectively. The consumer credit data are available in Haver's USECON database. The Action Economics figures are in the AS1REPNA database.


Consumer Credit Outstanding (M/M Chg, SA)
Sep '12 Aug '12 Jul '12 Y/Y % * 2011 2010 2009
Total $11.4B -$18.4B -$2.6B 5.5% 3.4% -1.2% -4.5%
Revolving -2.9 4.3 -4.9 0.5 0.1 -7.4 -8.8
Non-revolving 14.3 14.1 2.4 8.0 5.0 2.5 -1.8
*Year-to-year changes based on Federal Reserve break-adjusted data
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